Friday, March 13, 2015

The Breaking Point

As Barry Manilow once sang, "Looks like we MAAAADE it..."

Next week is my spring break.  I must say, each year I look forward to spring break more and more, and usually for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with school.

This week had a bit of a smudge on it right from the start, because Tuesday was the 5-year anniversary of my mom's death.

So there was that.

Then, I awoke on Wednesday morning to notice that my kitty, Juno, was squinting a bit.  Her eye was also watering a bit.  We've been down this road before, so I made an appointment with the vet for Thursday night, just to be on the safe side.  The plan was to monitor it and wait and see.

In the meantime, I had to go to work on Wednesday.  So I did.

I was in no way prepared, really, for how bad Juno's eye would look when I returned home six hours later.

Luckily, last year, the vet had warned me that "eye problems can get worse very quickly in cats."  This is why I made the appointment for Thursday night the minute I saw a possible problem--even though, at that point, her symptoms were no worse than yours would be if you got a tiny eyelash in your eye.

In short, when I left for work in the morning, it looked like we were dealing with a situation that blinking might very well heal.  When I returned home, I began to think that I might have to make my peace with the fact that she could lose the eye. 

For the record, I would just like to reiterate here what I told several friends: "While I appreciate the functionality of that third eyelid that cats have, it is by no means an attractive feature.  Particularly when the rest of the eye is bright red.  And swollen.  And oozing." 

So we ended up doing an emergency trip to the vet on Wednesday night.  This time around, I didn't have to explain much of anything: they took one look at her, and they knew what to do.  She got an eyewash, and a stain to test for a corneal ulcer (none), and some antibiotic drops.

And, within hours, it was looking better.  Today, she's her old self and her eye is rapidly becoming a facial feature that you can look at without cringing.

So pet-parenting is on my list of Spring Break Activities.  As is repairing--or, rather, attempting to repair--the drywall in my bathroom.

The plumber had to cut the drywall to get to the bathroom pipes, obviously.  Originally, I was going to get a handyman to repair it, but then my Pilates instructor insisted that I could do it myself.

Well, as you can imagine, that's pretty much all I needed to hear to convince myself to give it a try.  My thinking is, if I screw it up, I can still get a handyman.  And it'll actually be the same handyman who fixed the bathroom tub faucet that I screwed up a few weeks ago, so at this point, he knows me and he knows what to expect when my address shows up on his work schedule.

Add to this the fact that my Pilates instructor actually gave me a nice-sized swatch of drywall.  It even has a semi-circle cut in it to fit around a pipe, which may or may not come in handy, depending on whether the semi-circle that's already been cut fits the pipe in my bathroom.

I confess, I like to think that things like this are a cosmic sign and that yes, it will fit.

I like to think that it means I'm meant to fix this drywall.  Or, at the very least, that I'm meant to try to fix this drywall before turning it over to Tony.  (Tony is my repair-guy, in case you're wondering.)

And in case you're wondering what kind of Pilates class offers handouts of drywall after an hour-long session, I should inform you that the husband of my Pilates instructor has been slowly and systematically renovating their house for the past several years.  So that's why she has small sheets of leftover drywall to offer her clients--not that she does this regularly, of course.

In terms of other tasks for my break, I'm going to keep working on a pair of socks I'm knitting in a color called "Spring Mix," because I'm quite certain this is what has sparked the spring thaw that we're currently enjoying.

If only I had known.  I would have begun working with that color much, much earlier.  Oh well.

This means, of course, that I'm planning to spend a fair amount of time watching snow melt.  I know that to some, this might seem analogous to "watching grass grow" or "watching paint dry"--i.e., a synonym for "boring."

I promise you, after the winter we've had, it is in no way boring to sit and watch snow melt.  I'm surprised the good people of New England aren't taking to the streets with hair dryers to help speed the process along at this point.

For my part, I simply chuckle with glee, and I knit. 

And of course, my spring break will also be spent writing (and reading).  Some things never change.  Here's hoping they never do.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."